Tag Archive | Telephone

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Retro Rotary Dial Desk Telephone

Pink Rotary Dial Telephone
All Photos By Gail

Do you recognize this object? Do you know how works? How old are you? Don’t answer that. It’s hard to believe that this totally rad Pink Rotary Dial Desk Telephone was once the height of cool and contemporary consumer design. Now, it’s just a sculpture, or a piece pop culture ephemera.

Pink Phone with Pink Mirror

Maybe you’ve seen one used as a prop in an old movie you enjoy for its nostalgic pull.

Pink Rotary Dial Telephone

It is beautiful though, ins’t it? Sure it is.

Photographed at ICFF at Javits Center, NYC, in May of 2018

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Video Clip of The Week: Telegram,”Taffy Come Home”



Hey what’s up. Happy Easter, if you celebrate, and Happy Spring if not! While I could not find an Egg, Bunny, or Jesus-themed video for this holiday posting, I did find one that repeatedly mentions a type of candy, so, somewhat appropriate! This fun and super engaging video for the song “Taffy Come Home” by the Brit-Pop quartet Telegram feels wildly retro on a couple of levels. First of all, there’s the use of the rotary-dial telephone motif as the video’s primary image — an anachronism that many people under 20 will  be entirely unfamiliar with, but one which takes me right back to my youth. Also, lead singer Matt Saunders‘ voice encourages a deeply-nostalgic feeling  for  The Undertones and their vocalist Feargal Sharkey. What a great band they were.

The press release that accompanied this video clip calls Telegram‘s new album “… a series of frenzied meditations on Time and Speed, steeped in the sensitivity and strangeness of Kurt Vonnegut and approached through the erstwhile themes of love and intoxication. Melding post industrialist kraut rock with garage rock and the best bits of Eno and Bolan, the record offers twelve luminescent tracks, rooted in solid grooves but anti-gravitational in your mind’s eye.” Wow, high praise indeed. I would tend to agree with the Brian Eno comparison, specifically because “Taffy Come Home” reminds me of Eno’s glam rock masterpiece, “Needle in the Camel’s Eye,” which is a work of genius.

Saunders‘ band mates in Telegram are bassist Oli Paget-Moon, lead guitarist Matt Wood,  and drummer Jordan Cook. The groups’ eagerly awaited debut album, Operator, was released last week via Red Eye. Enjoy!

Telegram Band
And Don’t They Have a Good “Rock Star” Look, as Well?

Modern Art Monday Presents: Edward Kienholz, The Friendly Grey Computer — Star Gauge Model #54

Friendly Grey Computer
Edward Kienholz, The Friendly Grey Computer — Star Gauge Model #54 Consists of Aluminum painted rocking chair, metal case, instrument boxes with dials, plastic case containing yellow and blue lights, panel with numbers, bell, “rocker switch”, pack of index cards, directions for operation, light switch, telephone receiver, motor, and doll’s legs (All Photos By Gail)

“I really began to understand any society by going through its junk stores and flea markets,” remarked artist Edward Kienholz. “I can see the results of ideas in what is thrown away by a culture.” Here, Kienholz incorporates such discarded materials into a hybrid construction — a machine with human physical traits (such as dial “eyes” and toy doll legs) and emotions. Claiming to interpret language but in fact programmed to emit information randomly, The Friendly Grey Computer (1965) speaks to the faith that we place in technology, despite its obvious limitations. Kienholz intended for viewers to interact with the work and included a set of detailed instructions for operation, as follows:.

Place master switch in the off position. Plug computer into power supply. Print your problem on yellow index card provided in rack. Word your question is such a way that it can be answered by a simple yes or no. IMPORTANT: Next, program computer heads (C-20 and G-30) by setting dials in appropriate positions. You are now ready to start machine.

Friendly Grey Computer Detail

Throw the master switch to on setting. Red bulb on main housing and white tube on C-20 will light indicating computer is working. Remove Phone from rack and speak your problem into the mouthpiece exactly as you have written it on your index card. Replace phone in rack and ding dinger once. Under NO circumstances should you turn computer off until answer has been returned. Flashing yellow bulb indicates positive answer. Flashing blue bulb indicates negative answer. Green jewel button doesn’t light, so it will not indicate anything.

Computers sometimes get fatigued and have nervous breakdowns, hence the chair for it to rest in. If you know your computer well, you can tell when it’s tired and sort of blue and in a funky mood. If such a condition seems imminent, turn rocker switch on for ten or twenty minutes. Your computer will love it and will work all the harder for you. Remember that if you treat your computer well, it will treat you well. When answer light has stopped flashing, turn master switch to off position. Machine will now recycle for the next question. Repeat procedure from the beginning.

While the work is now in too fragile a condition to permit visitor interaction, the computer is presented here in the on position with its bulbs illuminated, and will be rocked daily.

Ed Kienholz (October 23, 1927 – June 10, 1994) is acknowledged as a pioneer of is now known as installation art and assemblage art. The Friendly Grey Computer was photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Telephone Sculpture, 8th Ave at 14th Street Subway Station

Tom Otterness Phone Sculpture
Photo By Gail

Life Underground is the name of a series of whimsical bronze sculptures by artist Tom Otterness, which have inhabited the 8th Avenue and 14th Street Subway Station since 2001. The sculptures can be found all along the platforms for the A, C and E Trains and also the L Train, as well as literally all over the station. This sculpture of an anthropomorphic pay telephone is installed on one side of a support beam on the Uptown A, C and E platform.